Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Do You Ever See Libya in the News?

 

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My news and social media filters are ensure I see news from Libya. I click on stories about Libya, so I’m served up news from Libya. But usually the stories come from British or European news agencies, not American ones. For example, I just checked Google news under the obvious search term (Libya), and found the following items. The first ran yesterday in the New York Times’ blog section:

After Horror in Libya, Christians’ Grief in an Egyptian Village

But note the sources of all the subsequent items:

Air strikes hit airport in Libyan town, military blames rival armed group (Reuters)

Libya crisis is a security and legitimacy crisis – not a political crisis (Libya Herald)

Isis weapons seized in Libya by Brigade 166 (The Independent)

Will ISIS’s foothold in Libya stay a ‘transit station’ or expand? (RT)

Libya: UN mission welcomes ceasefire, withdrawal of forces in Sidra Oil Crescent region (UN News Centre)

When I keep scrolling through the results, I see very little American coverage. There’s an occasional item in Huffpo, a Wall Street Journal item here and there. But basically, it looks to me as if Libya has just dropped off the news. Not so if I use the term Benghazi. Click on that and see what I mean.

This seems strange to me. Surely there’s an even bigger concern here than the Benghazi scandal; to wit, whether or not Congress declared it, the United States went to war. Seems to me we might be curious about the outcome of such a serious decision.

This is probably one reason we have no news coverage (last reported in January, in the New Yorker):

The violence has killed off the local media that flourished after the overthrow of Qaddafi. After four decades of censorship, there were suddenly more than a hundred newspapers, magazines, and journals. Now those publications have disappeared, and all foreign human-rights groups have had to leave the country. Nearly no foreign journalists go to Libya. This week, in response to the kidnapping of two Tunisian reporters, a group of Libyan civil-society organizations and activists issued a statement about the severity of the violence against journalists. “In the past year alone fourteen journalists were assassinated” and “dozens more kidnapped and remain missing,” they said.

Hilary Clinton is being pilloried for deleting e-mails from her server, but there’s an even more obvious scandal here, isn’t there? The Secretary of State favored a very significant US military intervention. An unwise use of the military is far more scandalous in any normal hierarchy of moral and political priorities.

Can anyone say this sounds like a desirable outcome? Why do you think there’s now so little concern about whether she was right to back the intervention itself?

There are 27 comments.

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  1. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor

    The Obama administration did PRECISELY what they accused the Bush Administration of doing in Libya, with even worse outcomes. They advocated for (and engaged in) “regime change” but did it on the cheap in an effort to keep their hands clean.

    Because there was no stabilizing force in the country after Qaddafi’s downfall the whole kit and kaboodle descended into unimaginably nightmarish chaos.

    • #1
    • April 2, 2015, at 2:23 PM PDT
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  2. Petty Boozswha Inactive

    Had we not intervened the massacre of potentially tens of thousands was eminent. I still think the intervention was the least bad option. America now was no place to store our own oil due to fracking, and after the last thirty years the American people wish the whole middle east would go to hell. Maybe that’s unworthy of a great power, but I think it’s an understandably human reaction.

    • #2
    • April 2, 2015, at 2:24 PM PDT
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  3. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor

    Majestyk:The Obama administration did PRECISELY what they accused the Bush Administration of doing in Libya, with even worse outcomes.

    Whether the outcome is worse is arguable, but it seems very strange to me that the focus of the attacks on Hilary is entirely on her e-mail, rather than on the intervention itself. And it seems strange to me that Libya itself has fallen out of the news.

    • #3
    • April 2, 2015, at 2:47 PM PDT
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  4. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor

    Claire Berlinski:

    Majestyk:The Obama administration did PRECISELY what they accused the Bush Administration of doing in Libya, with even worse outcomes.

    Whether the outcome is worse is arguable, but it seems very strange to me that the focus of the attacks on Hilary is entirely on her e-mail, rather than on the intervention itself. And it seems strange to me that Libya itself has fallen out of the news.

    There are no coincidences.

    Do you really think they’re going to trumpet a massive and costly failure (in terms of human catastrophe) which was directly precipitated by the Obama administration? The media are so deeply invested in Obama’s success as the first Black President that Libya’s descent into nightmare is deemed an acceptable casualty. Combine that with the fact that every journalist in Libya has basically been eradicated, and it’s a total blackout.

    • #4
    • April 2, 2015, at 2:59 PM PDT
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  5. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Claire, I think that you are correct in your impression that Libya receives little or no news coverage in the US.

    Frankly, I’ve assumed that this is because the situation in Libya is a dreadful mess, which would reflect very poorly on both the President and Hillary, and is therefore something that the MSM has little interest in covering.

    • #5
    • April 2, 2015, at 3:04 PM PDT
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  6. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor

    Arizona Patriot:Claire, I think that you are correct in your impression that Libya receives little or no news coverage in the US.

    Frankly, I’ve assumed that this is because the situation in Libya is a dreadful mess, which would reflect very poorly on both the President and Hillary, and is therefore something that the MSM has little interest in covering.

    I wonder. The scandal about Hilary’s e-mails gets lots of coverage from the same MSM, so that doesn’t quite make sense.

    • #6
    • April 2, 2015, at 3:15 PM PDT
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  7. civil westman Inactive

    As Arizona Patriot observed, Libya is not news simply because of how poorly it reflects on Obama and Clinton. Of the many tricks of biased journalism (sorry for the redundancy), what is reported vs. what is omitted heads the list.

    • #7
    • April 2, 2015, at 3:19 PM PDT
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  8. Instugator Thatcher
    InstugatorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Claire Berlinski:

    Arizona Patriot:Claire, I think that you are correct in your impression that Libya receives little or no news coverage in the US.

    Frankly, I’ve assumed that this is because the situation in Libya is a dreadful mess, which would reflect very poorly on both the President and Hillary, and is therefore something that the MSM has little interest in covering.

    I wonder. The scandal about Hilary’s e-mails gets lots of coverage from the same MSM, so that doesn’t quite make sense.

    It gets coverage oriented to covering it up – via quotes from Clinton henchmen or pointing out the unreasonableness of Republicans, or the entire making a mountain out of a molehill. What is doesn’t get is specific with regards to Hillary’s email in terms of what back channel negotiations are going on, were there dissenting views in the State department, or even the decision making process itself leading up to the intervention. Benghazi is sooo after the fact in the Libya intervention – what were the emails leading up to intervention? The incurious media has no desire to find out.

    • #8
    • April 2, 2015, at 3:25 PM PDT
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  9. Probable Cause Inactive

    Since 2008, Iraq and Afghanistan haven’t received much press coverage.

    • #9
    • April 2, 2015, at 3:43 PM PDT
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  10. Barkha Herman Inactive

    Neither the left nor the right news outlets would benefit from any news from Libya. Hence both sides are silent on it.

    • #10
    • April 2, 2015, at 3:53 PM PDT
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  11. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor

    Probable Cause:Since 2008, Iraq and Afghanistan haven’t received much press coverage.

    Afghanistan has certainly received a lot less coverage than Iraq. I don’t know why.

    • #11
    • April 2, 2015, at 3:55 PM PDT
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  12. civil westman Inactive

    Claire points out that the MSM is covering the email scandal. I don’t think they do it with the degree of open disbelief and caustic skepticism used against Republicans and conservatives, however. Much of the coverage questions Republican motives. In addition, they know they can spin and massage it out of existence any time they wish. Or, they can simply drop it down the Libya rabbit hole whenever they like. It will simply no longer exist.

    They have less control over Libya. There is ongoing bloodshed and bodies. Someone from somewhere may have the courage to report it at some point or something really loud, bloody and grotesque may occur which no amount of spin can disappear. For example, that mission resulted in tons of weapons falling into the hands of various militant factions. These included MANPADs. What happens when one brings down a commercial airliner and is traced back to Libya?

    • #12
    • April 2, 2015, at 3:59 PM PDT
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  13. Paul J. Croeber Inactive

    Perhaps journalists have joined our President and now “lede from behind”. Punny stuff, I know (and apologize), but it seems the herd has moved on.

    • #13
    • April 2, 2015, at 4:32 PM PDT
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  14. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor

    civil westman: What happens when one brings down a commercial airliner and is traced back to Libya?

    The flood of refugees from Libya has certainly got everyone’s attention in Europe already.

    • #14
    • April 2, 2015, at 4:41 PM PDT
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  15. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There are sources available, but the US MSM ignores the stories to the degree it can. They cover the major events like Garrisa University, but the smaller stories about what is going on in the region are either glossed over or ignored entirely. IMU (the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) have pledged allegiance to ISIS. Saudi Arabia “cannot rule out” on-the-ground military intervention in Yemen. Someone (it isn’t clear who, but probably the Saudis) landed troops in Aden. Al-Quaeda freed 270 prisoners (of which about 90 “have Al-Quaeda ties) from prison in Yemen. Oh, and Turkey arrested nine Britons who were attempting to cross into Syria – none of them named “Nigel.”

    The wheels are coming off.

    EDIT: Actually, I guess I got the prisoner release from CNN, which is MSM if you happen to be in an airport or a dentist’s office.

    • #15
    • April 2, 2015, at 4:42 PM PDT
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  16. iWe Coolidge
    iWeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stories come from reporters. Reporters only go where it is easy/comfortable/fun/career-building to go.

    Look at how Turkey has fallen out of the news ever since decent people (like Claire) decided that they would be better off somewhere else.

    Israel: Hits the spot.

    Libya? Not so much.

    • #16
    • April 2, 2015, at 5:17 PM PDT
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  17. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor

    iWe:Stories come from reporters. Reporters only go where it is easy/comfortable/fun/career-building to go.

    Look at how Turkey has fallen out of the news ever since decent people (like Claire) decided that they would be better off somewhere else.

    There are still lots of good people reporting from there. I was always amazed how few were reporting for the US press, though. A large number of very good Anglophone journalists went to Al Jazeera while I was there–they’re the only ones offering money. Al Jazeera English now has a lot of good journalism.

    Israel: Hits the spot.

    Libya? Not so much.

    It’s weird, because Libya didn’t go away. It just dropped off the US news. It’s very much still in the news everywhere else. I don’t really know how to explain it.

    • #17
    • April 2, 2015, at 6:44 PM PDT
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  18. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Do You Ever See Libya in the News?
    Is it anywhere near Indiana?

    • #18
    • April 2, 2015, at 8:41 PM PDT
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  19. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Hillary belongs in jail.

    • #19
    • April 2, 2015, at 9:55 PM PDT
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  20. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Claire Berlinski:When I keep scrolling through the results, I see very little American coverage. There’s an occasional item in Huffpo, a Wall Street Journal item here and there. But basically, it looks to me as if Libya has just dropped off the news. Not so if I use the term Benghazi. Click on that and see what I mean.

    This seems strange to me. Surely there’s an even bigger concern here than the Benghazi scandal; to wit, whether or not Congress declared it, the United States went to war. Seems to me we might be curious about the outcome of such a serious decision.

    Me, too.

    As blameworthy as the press likely is on this, I think we — Americans — are the ones really at fault. If we gave a damn, the press would cover it.

    But it’s apparently okay with us for to start bombing a place without even a semblance of congressional debate or approval, and then forget about it.

    • #20
    • April 3, 2015, at 4:50 AM PDT
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  21. civil westman Inactive

    I recall that the rationale for “leading from our behinds” into Libya was the “duty to protect (D2P).” Am I incorrect in thinking that there has been more carnage following completion of the mission what we were told was threatened before it?

    If, indeed, we have this duty, why was it not invoked in Syria/Iraq, where various insurgents and ISIS have killed far more civilians then were ever threatened in Libya?

    • #21
    • April 3, 2015, at 8:01 AM PDT
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  22. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor

    civil westman:I recall that the rationale for “leading from our behinds” into Libya was the “duty to protect (D2P).” Am I incorrect in thinking that there has been more carnage following completion of the mission what we were told was threatened before it?

    I’m not sure that I’ve seen a really accurate report on the number of deaths, but even by the time Gaddafi was lynched, the National Transitional Council had put the losses at 30,000 dead and 50,000 wounded.

    If, indeed, we have this duty, why was it not invoked in Syria/Iraq, where various insurgents and ISIS have killed far more civilians then were ever threatened in Libya?

    I don’t know.

    • #22
    • April 3, 2015, at 8:18 AM PDT
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  23. Kermit Hoffpauir Inactive

    It’s personally cost me a lot of money in lost profit.

    • #23
    • April 3, 2015, at 11:17 AM PDT
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  24. Kermit Hoffpauir Inactive

    Trade of oil and oil products is now being handled out of NYC. Lots of lawsuits have ensued with lack of obligation to deliver on time. China refuses to purchase from there for the time being. They sent to many tankers to load that sat there for several days alongside berth and no cargo.

    Behind the scenes deals caused this, IMO.

    • #24
    • April 3, 2015, at 11:32 AM PDT
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  25. Kermit Hoffpauir Inactive

    A very sore subject for me, and even European media doesn’t seem to cover what is going on to any depth. My news has to come from private sources within the country and are completely biased but that’s the best that I can find.

    • #25
    • April 3, 2015, at 12:18 PM PDT
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  26. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph StankoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Libya? Isn’t that the country the evil warmonger Reagan bombed back in the 80’s since he liked to start wars for fun and profit?

    Why, has something newsworthy happened there since then?

    • #26
    • April 3, 2015, at 2:05 PM PDT
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  27. Doctor Robert Member

    This is too simple. News coverage of events in Libya would continually remind the American electorate of what fools/incompetents/traitors are King Barack and Lady Hillary. Therefore there shall be no news coverage of events in Libya.

    An important question that no one ever seems to have asked is, is the current situation of Libya being a failed state, a font of weapons for terrorists, a thorn in southern Europe’s side, what the administration actually wanted?

    • #27
    • April 5, 2015, at 6:28 AM PDT
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